Raptors to host Melbourne United in preseason


The Toronto Raptors are getting back into the NBA global exhibition pool, as they’ll host Melbourne United in a preseason game this year.

As part of the NBA’s partnership with Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL), five Australian teams will travel to the United States and Canada to play a total of seven exhibition games against NBA teams during the 2017-18 preseason. Toronto and Melbourne United will square off on Oct. 5 at what will then be named Scotiabank Arena (formerly the Air Canada Centre as of later this week).

The Toronto-Melbourne game will be an interesting international showcase, as both Canada and Australia set or matched records for NBA players from the respective countries in 2017-18 (14 for Canada, eight for Australia). This also continues the Raptors’ strong tradition of spreading the game, as they’ve taken part in the NBA Global Games initiative abroad, run the NBA Canada Series around the country some years, and hosted international opponents on a number of occasions.

The rest of the Raptors’ preseason schedule is yet to be announced. Last year, the regular season began on Oct. 17 with the Raptors wrapping up their preseason schedule on Oct. 13. The dates and location of their training camp are yet to be announced (last year camp opened Sept. 26 in British Columbia). That’s usually an early September announcement.